Opening an estate in probate in Fort Lauderdale is always the first step in ensuring that a deceased person’s wishes become a reality after their death. It is also the only way to ensure that named heirs receive the full benefit of being named as beneficiaries in a will.
Despite the high importance of probate, courts will never act to initiate the process on their own. State law requires an interested party to come forward. They must submit a comprehensive petition, attach a copy of a will, and be sure to perform these steps within ten days of the decedent’s death. Marc Brown, P.A., our experienced probate attorney can help to guide you through the process of opening an estate in probate in Fort Lauderdale.
What You Can Do Immediately after Learning of a Death
Time is critical when asking a court to initiate probate proceedings. You must submit a petition to the court within ten days of date of death. Especially when a death is unexpected, it is vital to begin the process quickly.
Immediately locate the best copy of a will. This may be on file with an attorney’s office, be in a bank’s safe deposit box, or even in the decedent’s personal possessions. Because all petitions require an attached copy of this essential document, knowing where it is located as soon as possible is key.
It is also important to notify all heirs and potential heirs. These parties have the right to be involved in probate as well as raise legal challenges concerning the estate. While a personal representative will issue official notices in the future, having contact information for these people is a central part of any petition for probate.
Our skilled lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you open an estate by guiding you through the process of finding the will, contacting heirs and potential heirs, and filing a petition with probate court within the deadline following your loved one’s passing.
Submitting a Formal Petition for Probate to the Court in Fort Lauderdale
Probate officially begins when a party submits a petition for probate to the court. Florida Statute §733.202 states that any interested party has the authority to submit this request. This includes heirs, presumptive heirs, and nominated personal representatives.
The petition itself requires detailed information about the decedent, the decedent’s property, potential heirs, and the decedent’s will. This information is necessary to allow a court to authenticate a will, inform potential heirs about their rights under the law, and raise the chance for parties to contest the authentication of a will or authorization of a personal representative.
Our knowledgeable attorney can help you gather the information necessary to open an estate in probate in Fort Lauderdale and submit the paperwork to the correct court.
Choosing the Branch of the Probate Court with Jurisdiction Over the Case
The lengthy steps that go into preparing a petition for probate are all for naught if a party does not choose the correct court. Only certain courts around Fort Lauderdale have the authority to open a probate case for a decedent’s estate, which a well-versed attorney can help you determine.
FL Statute § 733.101 provides that the branch of the probate court located in the county where the decedent lived before death has jurisdiction over the case. If the decedent did not live in the state, then the county where the property is located has authority.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Opening an Estate in Probate in Fort Lauderdale
Opening a probate case is the first step towards heirs receiving property after a person’s death. This requires you to obtain information about the deceased, their property, and their potential heirs. In addition, you must be sure to choose the right court and submit the petition no more than ten days after the death.
Marc Brown, P.A. will be able to help in each of these areas. He can work to explain the steps involved in opening an estate in probate in Fort Lauderdale and take the lead in drafting the necessary paperwork. Reach out today.